Wednesday, 3 November, 2021
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Since the beginning of 2020 we've really missed welcoming home our Irish diaspora to their ancestors' place of origin in Ireland. Although IrelandXO volunteers have continued to help people connect with their Irish roots online, nothing can replace the joy of accompanying returning diaspora as they walk in their ancestors' footsteps, seeing the places they lived and worked in before setting sail for foreign shores. Thankfully we are beginning to see a gradual return of visitors to Ireland this year. Read below about James's special trip to Co.Tipperary

IrelandXO Connections Georgia and Tipperary

As part of James's search for more information on his great grandfather Mr.Michael Murphy, he posted a message to the IrelandXO message board in late January 2021. He already knew he was born March 3, 1881 and that he was baptised in Killenaule, a small town County Tipperary, 4,083 kilometres from Georgia. James wanted to know more about the life his great-grandfather lived and the community he was part of prior to emigrating to the USA  in 1899.

In 1837, Lewis described Killenaule as being 'a small market and post-town, and a parish, in the barony of SLIEVARDAGH, county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, containing 3464 inhabitants, of which number, 1578 are in the town.' The parish comprised 6121 statute acres, and furnished limestone, flagstone, potters’ clay, iron ore, and slate fit for making pencils.  A chief constabulary police force wass stationed in the town, where there was a weekly market, and a sub-post-office to Littleton; fairs were held on the first Thursday (O. S.) in May and October, and on Jan. 1st, March 25th, June 24th, and Aug. 14th.

James's Story

My great grandfather, Michael Murphy came from the small town of Killenaule, Co.Tipperary. He died before I was born, but I was always curious about why he left Ireland and about his family. Ireland Reaching Out introduced me to Noreen Maher. Her family came from the town of Killenaule and the surrounding area. She met me and my wife in Killenaule during a recent visit. She was able to tell me a lot about the town's history. I plan on staying in touch with her as I try to obtain more information about my Murphy family there. We were able to discover some Murphy's that still live there and are trying to find out if we are cousins! If you are trying to learn more about your Irish relatives, I highly recommend contacting Ireland Reaching Out, The people are great and they really enjoy helping people reconnect with their Irish roots.

Thomas Murphy

Picture: Thomas Murphay owner of House and Garden, River Street

A note from Noreen, IrelandXO Volunteer

They were a lovely couple. They got to see the family grave, street their ancestors lived on and I gave them some general local history and information on Irish genealogy. They were going back the next day, Sunday, to go to a mass where his ancestors attended. James ancestor was a postman in the town so we took of the picture in front of the post office. I enjoyed it, getting to meet people and talk about my favourite subject, genealogy!.


Feeling inspired by Noeline's story? We know that it is difficult to plan a visit to Ireland at the moment but you can still make the connections that will allow you to find out more about your ancestors' place of origin. And when eventually you can travel, we will be waiting here to meet you! A simple post on the IrelandXO Message Board may be all you need to get 'started' on your journey.

Have you already made the trip "home" to Ireland to visit the place of origin of your ancestors? If so, we'd love to feature you in an upcoming IrelandXO Connection Story. Contact us at info@IrelandXO.com to share your story.


We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference.